A more detailed account of the life of Tempu Nakamura Sensei's
life can be found on the Sennin Foundation website: Click
page 1, 2, 3
Excerpted from Nakamura Tempu and the Origins of
by H. E. Davey
Japanese Yoga: The Art of Dynamic Meditation by H. E.
Davey is published by Stone Bridge Press. For information
about this book (as well as Brush Meditation: A Japanese
Way to Mind & Body Harmony and The Japanese Way of the
Flower: Ikebana as Moving Meditation, works also written
by Mr. Davey), go to www.stonebridge.com.
forms of yoga have spread throughout the world due to their
objectives of promoting health and harmony. Japan is but
one of many countries that have received these age-old teachings.
Certain distinctive Japanese versions of Indian spiritual
paths have evolved. Perhaps the first of these unique methodologies
is the art of Shin-shin-toitsu-do, which was developed by
Nakamura Tempu Sensei (1876-1968). In fact, Nakamura Sensei
is often considered to be the father of yoga in Japan.
Nakamura Sensei contracted tuberculosis, which in those
days was frequently a fatal disease. Despite his knowledge
of certain traditional Japanese healing methods, his condition
worsened. As the result, he went to the United States in
the early 1900s to receive Western-style medical treatment,
which initially seemed to cure him. Impressed with the effectiveness
of the treatments he received, Nakamura Sensei attended
Columbia University. He was one of the first Japanese to
become a medical doctor.
But he began to cough up blood again. Despite his past
training in various Japanese spiritual paths, he had over
the years become almost totally preoccupied with the body
. . . his body in particular. Realizing this, and perhaps
feeling that he had gone as far as he could with different
"body-oriented cures," he decided to explore the
mind as a possible means of curing his illness. He renewed
his study of different Japanese spiritual paths. Yet after
his medical training in America, he felt that truth was
not limited to Japan. Nakamura Sensei traveled to England
to study with H. Addington Bruce, who had evolved his own
form of personal growth. He decided to explore the depths
of the newly developing field of psychology, general ideas
from which he used in his later teaching of Japanese yoga.
His study of psychology spanned France, Germany, and Belgium ...
but he still couldn't shake the tuberculosis. Despite believing
even more strongly in the possibility of a psychosomatic
cure, he met with no success. Despondent, he decided to
return to Japan. But he would stop in Egypt first.